GOV 382K • Studies in Political Theory and Philosophy
3:30 PM-6:30 PM
This course is a graduate seminar that explores the political theories of many of the towering figures of the modern western cannon of political thought. We will consider these theories in their historical context as well as evaluate their relevance for contemporary political thinking. Among other topics, we shall consider theories of the self, the state, history, authority, sovereignty, the social contract, and the problem of injustice.
Grading: Evaluation will be based upon a combination of review essays, participation, and a longer research paper. Students will be required to submit a two page review essay every other week. These papers will provide the basis for discussion and are to be handed in on the Monday 24 hours before class. Research papers will be due at the end of the course and topics will be determined in consultation with me several weeks in advance of their due date. Vigorous discussion of the material is essential to the course. Participation therefore, is required and will be afforded significant weight in relation to other requirements.
*Texts: (*this list is tentative) Niccolo Machiavelli The Prince, Discourses on Livy Thomas Hobbes The Leviathan John Locke Two Treatises on Government Jean Jacques Rousseau Discourse on the Arts and Sciences Discourse on the Origin of Inequality The Social Contract Emmanuel Kant Idea of Universal History: What is Enlightenment? Perpetual Peace Georg Hegel Philosophy of History Karl Marx On the Jewish Question Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 The German Ideology John Stewart Mill On Liberty The Subjection of Women Friedrich Nietzsche On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life The Genealogy of Morals W.E.B. Dubois The Souls of Black Folk Hannah Arendt The Human Condition